Richard Harvey showed a marked musical proficiency from an early age, taking up the flute when he was four years old. By the time he graduated from London's Royal College of Music in 1972, he was playing the recorder flute, krumhorn, and other medieval and Renaissance-era instruments as well as the mandolin and various keyboards, all at a level that made him a candidate for membership in the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Instead, he chose to work with Musica Reservata, an ensemble specializing in early music performed on authentic instruments. He subsequently crossed paths with a likeminded RCM graduate, Brian Gulland -- who played the bass krumhorn, among other instruments -- and formed what eventually became Gryphon, an unusual band that started out as a period-instrument folk quartet and soon evolved into a folk/progressive rock sextet.
Gryphon lasted until the end of the 1970s, by which time their music had crossed over to more mainstream rock sounds. Starting at the end of the 1970s, Harvey moved into the field of television and film music, scoring such varied productions as The Martian Chronicles (1980), Defense of the Realm (1985), and Half Moon Street (1986). He has also played on such albums as Lionheart by Kate Bush, Gordon Giltrap's Fear of the Dark, Gerry Rafferty's Night Owl, and the various Symphonic Rock CDs. He should not be confused with the similarly named drummer from the Divinyls. ~ Bruce Eder